waters surface

  “The waves receded, making their feet sink as sand was pulled and shifted. Cas smiled as Dean overcame his shock to stare in awe at their surroundings, turning in a circle to take in the curve of the secluded beach and too blue ocean, the lush greenery and tropical forest a wall behind them.

   “Oh  wow ,” gasped Dean, eyes wide as he took it all in. “You weren’t kidding about somewhere warmer.”

  The waves rolled in, over his toes and around his ankles in a soothing wash, small minnows swimming with the tide. Drawing in a deep breath, Cas turned to look over the water, tilting his head back and eyes drifting closed. He savored the warmth of the sun on his skin. Beneath the water’s surface, he could sense countless lifeforms drifting with leisure, could feel the birds and beasts in the forest behind them, various birdsong and animal cry filling the air. He felt the breeze catch under a bird’s wings as it took to the air in flight.

    This was peaceful.”

The One with the Fanfic Competition, Chap 15

Largest Batch of Earth-size, Habitable Zone Planets

Our Spitzer Space Telescope has revealed the first known system of seven Earth-size planets around a single star. Three of these planets are firmly located in an area called the habitable zone, where liquid water is most likely to exist on a rocky planet.

This exoplanet system is called TRAPPIST-1, named for The Transiting Planets and Planetesimals Small Telescope (TRAPPIST) in Chile. In May 2016, researchers using TRAPPIST announced they had discovered three planets in the system.

Assisted by several ground-based telescopes, Spitzer confirmed the existence of two of these planets and discovered five additional ones, increasing the number of known planets in the system to seven.

This is the FIRST time three terrestrial planets have been found in the habitable zone of a star, and this is the FIRST time we have been able to measure both the masses and the radius for habitable zone Earth-sized planets.

All of these seven planets could have liquid water, key to life as we know it, under the right atmospheric conditions, but the chances are highest with the three in the habitable zone.

At about 40 light-years (235 trillion miles) from Earth, the system of planets is relatively close to us, in the constellation Aquarius. Because they are located outside of our solar system, these planets are scientifically known as exoplanets. To clarify, exoplanets are planets outside our solar system that orbit a sun-like star.

In this animation, you can see the planets orbiting the star, with the green area representing the famous habitable zone, defined as the range of distance to the star for which an Earth-like planet is the most likely to harbor abundant liquid water on its surface. Planets e, f and g fall in the habitable zone of the star.

Using Spitzer data, the team precisely measured the sizes of the seven planets and developed first estimates of the masses of six of them. The mass of the seventh and farthest exoplanet has not yet been estimated.

For comparison…if our sun was the size of a basketball, the TRAPPIST-1 star would be the size of a golf ball.

Based on their densities, all of the TRAPPIST-1 planets are likely to be rocky. Further observations will not only help determine whether they are rich in water, but also possibly reveal whether any could have liquid water on their surfaces.

The sun at the center of this system is classified as an ultra-cool dwarf and is so cool that liquid water could survive on planets orbiting very close to it, closer than is possible on planets in our solar system. All seven of the TRAPPIST-1 planetary orbits are closer to their host star than Mercury is to our sun.

 The planets also are very close to each other. How close? Well, if a person was standing on one of the planet’s surface, they could gaze up and potentially see geological features or clouds of neighboring worlds, which would sometimes appear larger than the moon in Earth’s sky.

The planets may also be tidally-locked to their star, which means the same side of the planet is always facing the star, therefore each side is either perpetual day or night. This could mean they have weather patterns totally unlike those on Earth, such as strong wind blowing from the day side to the night side, and extreme temperature changes.

Because most TRAPPIST-1 planets are likely to be rocky, and they are very close to one another, scientists view the Galilean moons of Jupiter – lo, Europa, Callisto, Ganymede – as good comparisons in our solar system. All of these moons are also tidally locked to Jupiter. The TRAPPIST-1 star is only slightly wider than Jupiter, yet much warmer. 

How Did the Spitzer Space Telescope Detect this System?

Spitzer, an infrared telescope that trails Earth as it orbits the sun, was well-suited for studying TRAPPIST-1 because the star glows brightest in infrared light, whose wavelengths are longer than the eye can see. Spitzer is uniquely positioned in its orbit to observe enough crossing (aka transits) of the planets in front of the host star to reveal the complex architecture of the system. 

Every time a planet passes by, or transits, a star, it blocks out some light. Spitzer measured the dips in light and based on how big the dip, you can determine the size of the planet. The timing of the transits tells you how long it takes for the planet to orbit the star.

The TRAPPIST-1 system provides one of the best opportunities in the next decade to study the atmospheres around Earth-size planets. Spitzer, Hubble and Kepler will help astronomers plan for follow-up studies using our upcoming James Webb Space Telescope, launching in 2018. With much greater sensitivity, Webb will be able to detect the chemical fingerprints of water, methane, oxygen, ozone and other components of a planet’s atmosphere.

At 40 light-years away, humans won’t be visiting this system in person anytime soon…that said…this poster can help us imagine what it would be like: 

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If you dropped a water balloon on a bed of nails, you’d expect it to burst spectacularly. And you’d be right – some of the time. Under the right conditions, though, you’d see what a high-speed camera caught in the animation above: a pancake-shaped bounce with nary a leak. Physically, this is a scaled-up version of what happens to a water droplet when it hits a superhydrophobic surface. 

Water repellent superhydrophobic surfaces are covered in microscale roughness, much like a bed of tiny nails. When the balloon (or droplet) hits, it deforms into the gaps between posts. In the case of the water balloon, its rubbery exterior pulls back against that deformation. (For the droplet, the same effect is provided by surface tension.) That tension pulls the deformed parts of the balloon back up, causing the whole balloon to rebound off the nails in a pancake-like shape. For more, check out this video on the student balloon project or the original water droplet research. (Image credits: T. Hecksher et al., Y. Liu et al.; via The New York Times; submitted by Justin B.)

Ocean Worlds Beyond Earth

We’re incredibly lucky to live on a planet drenched in water, nestled in a perfect distance from our sun and wrapped with magnetic fields keeping our atmosphere intact against harsh radiation and space weather.

We know from recent research that life can persist in the cruelest of environments here on Earth, which gives us hope to finding life thriving on other worlds. While we have yet to find life outside of Earth, we are optimistic about the possibilities, especially on other ocean worlds right here in our solar system.  

So…What’s the News?!

Two of our veteran missions are providing tantalizing new details about icy, ocean-bearing moons of Jupiter and Saturn, further enhancing the scientific interest of these and other “ocean worlds” in our solar system and beyond!

Cassini scientists announce that a form of energy for life appears to exist in Saturn’s moon Enceladus, and Hubble researchers report additional evidence of plumes erupting from Jupiter’s moon Europa.

The Two Missions: Cassini and Hubble

Cassini

Our Cassini spacecraft has found that hydrothermal vents in the ocean of Saturn’s icy moon Enceladus are producing hydrogen gas, which could potentially provide a chemical energy source for life.

Cassini discovered that this little moon of Saturn was active in 2005. The discovery that Enceladus has jets of gas and icy particles coming out of its south polar region surprised the world. Later we determined that plumes of material are coming from a global ocean under the icy crust, through large cracks known as “tiger stripes.” 

We have more evidence now – this time sampled straight from the plume itself – of hydrothermal activity, and we now know the water is chemically interacting with the rock beneath the ocean and producing the kind of chemistry that could be used by microbes IF they happened to be there.

This is the culmination of 12 years of investigations by Cassini and a capstone finding for the mission. We now know Enceladus has nearly all the ingredients needed for life as we know it.

The Cassini spacecraft made its deepest dive through the plume on Oct. 28, 2015. From previous flybys, Cassini determined that nearly 98% of the gas in the plume is water and the rest is a mixture of other molecules, including carbon dioxide, methane and ammonia. 

Cassini’s other instruments provided evidence of hydrothermal activity in the ocean. What we really wanted to know was…Is there hydrogen being produced that microbes could use to make energy? And that’s exactly what we found!

To be clear…we haven’t discovered microbes at Enceladus, but vents of this type at Earth host these kinds of life. We’re cautiously excited at the prospect that there might be something like this at Enceladus too!

Hubble

The Hubble Space Telescope has also been studying another ocean world in our solar system: Europa!

Europa is one of the four major moons of Jupiter, about the size of our own moon but very different in appearance. It’s a cold, icy world with a relatively smooth, bright surface crisscrossed with dark cracks and patches of reddish material.

What makes Europa interesting is that it’s believed to have a global ocean, underneath a thick crust of ice. In fact, it’s got about twice as much ocean as planet Earth!

In 2014, we detected evidence of intermittent water plumes on the surface of Europa, which is interesting because they may provide us with easier access to subsurface liquid water without having to drill through miles of ice.

And now, in 2016, we’ve found one particular plume candidate that appears to be at the same location that it was seen in 2014. 

This is exciting because if we can establish that a particular feature does repeat, then it is much more likely to be real and we can attempt to study and understand the processes that cause it to turn on or off. 

This plume also happens to coincide with an area where Europa is unusually warm as compared to the surrounding terrain. The plume candidates are about 30 to 60 miles (50 to 100 kilometers) in height and are well-positioned for observation, being in a relatively equatorial and well-determined location.

What Does All This Mean and What’s Next?

Hubble and Cassini are inherently different missions, but their complementary scientific discoveries, along with the synergy between our current and planned missions, will help us in finding out whether we are alone in the universe. 

Hubble will continue to observe Europa. If you’re wondering how we might be able to get more information on the Europa plume, the upcoming Europa Clipper mission will be carrying a suite of 9 instruments to investigate whether the mysterious icy moon could harbor conditions favorable for life. Europa Clipper is slated to launch in the 2020s.

This future mission will be able to study the surface of Europa in great detail and assess the habitability of this moon. Whether there’s life there or not is a question for this future mission to discover!

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where the lines overlap (m)

Originally posted by kths

jimin x reader red strings of fate soulmates! au

8.8k words

rated m for dirty talk, creampie kink, idk i just wanted to write a jimin soulmate au but whoops my finger slipped?? :/

recommended music: where the lines overlap by paramore! it’s my favourite paramore song EVER :)

Summary: there’s an ancient Chinese folklore of the red strings of fate that connect one person to another. These two people connected by the red thread are destined lovers, and the magical, invisible thread may tangle or stretch, but it will never sever. You’ve never believed in these mystical threads of fate like everyone else, but one day you suddenly gain the ability to see the threads connecting the people around you.


The door slams shut, jolting you out of your peaceful reverie. If it had been anyone else, you’d be beyond annoyed to be interrupted while doing your weekly readings, but not when it’s him. The person in question knocks gently on your door before peeking his head in, strands of his bleached dove gray hair spilling over into his eyes, and you can’t help but smile at the sight of him.

“Hey, I got dinner on the way back,” Jimin’s cheeks round out into a smile that reaches all the way to the crinkles at the corners of his eyes. Every time he comes home he’s constantly sweaty and worn out, but it’s part and parcel of the life he chose as a dance major.

Tossing aside your notes, you follow him out into the small dining area of your shared apartment, still in your sweats. When he makes a move to sit at the table, you give him a playful swat on his chest.

“Shouldn’t you wash up first? If I’d known you were this gross, I wouldn’t have agreed to room with you two years ago,” you pretend to wrinkle your nose at his sweaty form, all while ignoring the way his shirt is moulded to his chest.

“Says the one still in her sweatpants. Looks like someone isn’t that hungry tonight,” Jimin smirks back, reaching across the table to grab the box of takeout that you were in the midst of opening. “I could totally do with those extra calories after Hoseok hyung cracked down on us today…”

“I’m just kidding Chim,” you hastily snatch back the takeout box just as he opens the lid of it, the delicious smell of hot noodles and fried pork slices wafting into the air. “Oh my god this smells so good, I’ve been starving all day!”

“Wait, Jinwoo didn’t come by? It’s your free day right? I thought he usually comes by to hang out in the afternoons,” Jimin pauses in his chewing to study your expression carefully, but you’re too busy inhaling mouthfuls of stir fried noodles.

“Jinwoo oppa said he was busy today,” you say around a mouthful of vegetables and noodles. “He has that huge midterm coming up next week, so I told him he should stay home and study.”

Jimin looks like he’s about to say something snide about your boyfriend of nearly 6 months, so you stuff a large piece of meat into his mouth instead.

“Yes I know, he was busy last week and the week before that too, but we’ve been dating for a while so we don’t need to see each other so often. We’re over that honeymoon stage already.” You say in a dismissive tone, focusing on chasing the remaining few strands of noodles around with your chopsticks and avoiding his gaze.

Keep reading

Solar System: Things to Know This Week

Earth is the ultimate ocean planet (that we know of), but it turns out that our solar system has water in some surprising places, with five ocean-bearing moons and potentially several more worlds with their own oceans. 

1. The Original “Alien Ocean”

Our Galileo spacecraft (1989-2003) detected the first evidence of an ocean beyond Earth under the ice of Jupiter’s icy moon Europa.

2. Lost Oceans

There are signs that Mars and Venus once had oceans, but something catastrophic may have wiped them out. Earth’s natural force field – our magnetosphere – acts like shield against the erosive force of the solar wind.

3. Earth, the Original Ocean World

The search for life beyond Earth relies, in large part, on understanding our home planet. Among the newest Earth ocean explorers us the Cyclone Global Navigation Satellite System, or CYGNSS–a constellation of microsatellites that will make detailed measurements of wind speeds over Earth’s oceans to help understand hurricanes. The spacecraft have moved into their science operations phase.

4. Sister Ships

It’s fitting the first mission to explore an alien ocean is named in honor of fast-sailing clipper ships of old. Our Europa Clipper spacecraft will seek signs of habitability on Jupiter’s moon Europa.

5. Game Changer

Scientists expected Saturn’s moon Enceladus to be a tiny, solid chunk of ice and rock. But, not long after arriving at Saturn, our Cassini spacecraft made a series of incremental discoveries, eventually confirming that a global subsurface ocean is venting into space, with signs of hydrothermal activity.

6. Why Ocean Worlds Matter

“The question of whether or not life exists beyond Earth, the question of whether or not biology works beyond our home planet, is one of humanity’s oldest and yet unanswered questions. And for the first time in the history of humanity, we have the tools and technology and capability to potentially answer this question. And, we know where to go to find it. Jupiter’s ocean world Europa.” - Kevin Hand, NASA Astrobiologist

7. More Alien Oceans

Scientists think Jupiter’s giant moons Ganymede and Callisto also hide oceans beneath their surfaces. Elsewhere in the solar system, scientists hope to look for hidden oceans on far-flung worlds from Ceres in the main asteroid belt to Pluto in the Kuiper Belt.

8. Cold Faithful(s)?

Thanks to our Cassini orbiter we know the tiny moon Enceladus is venting its ocean into space in a towering, beautiful plume. The Hubble Space Telescope also has seen tantalizing hints of plumes on Jupiter’s moon Europa. Plumes are useful because they provide samples of ocean chemistry for oceans that could be miles below the surface and difficult for spacecraft to reach. It’s like they’re giving out free samples!

9. Titanic Seas and Ocean

Saturn’s moon Titan not only has liquid hydrocarbon seas on its surface. It also shows signs of a global, subsurface saltwater ocean–making the giant moon a place to possibly look for life as we know it and life as we don’t know it … yet.

10. Oceans Beyond

Several of the thousands of planets discovered beyond our solar system orbit their stars in zones where liquid surface water is possible–including Proxima-b, a rocky planet orbiting the star nearest to our own.

BONUS: Adopt a bit of YOUR Ocean World

We invite everyone to help us celebrate Earth Day 2017 by virtually adopting a piece of Earth as seen from space. Your personalized adoption certificate will feature data from our Earth-observing satellites for a randomly assigned location, much of it ocean (it is 70 percent of the Earth’s surface after all!). Print it and share it, then explore other locations with our interactive map and get even more Earth science data from NASA’s Worldview website.

Visit go.nasa.gov/adopt to adopt your piece of the planet today!

Discover more lists of 10 things to know about our solar system HERE.

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Astronomy From 45,000 Feet

What is the Stratospheric Observatory for Infrared Astronomy, or SOFIA, up to?

SOFIA, the Stratospheric Observatory for Infrared Astronomy, as our flying telescope is called, is a Boeing 747SP aircraft that carries a 2.5-meter telescope to altitudes as high as 45,000 feet. Researchers use SOFIA to study the solar system and beyond using infrared light. This type of light does not reach the ground, but does reach the altitudes where SOFIA flies.

 Recently, we used SOFIA to study water on Venus, hoping to learn more about how that planet lost its oceans. Our researchers used a powerful instrument on SOFIA, called a spectrograph, to detect water in its normal form and “heavy water,” which has an extra neutron. The heavy water takes longer to evaporate and builds up over time. By measuring how much heavy water is on Venus’ surface now, our team will be able to estimate how much water Venus had when the planet formed.

We are also using SOFIA to create a detailed map of the Whirlpool Galaxy by making multiple observations of the galaxy. This map will help us understand how stars form from clouds in that galaxy. In particular, it will help us to know if the spiral arms in the galaxy trigger clouds to collapse into stars, or if the arms just show up where stars have already formed.

We can also use SOFIA to study methane on Mars. The Curiosity rover has detected methane on the surface of Mars. But the total amount of methane on Mars is unknown and evidence so far indicates that its levels change significantly over time and location. We are using SOFIA to search for evidence of this gas by mapping the Red Planet with an instrument specially tuned to sniff out methane.

Next our team will use SOFIA to study Jupiter’s icy moon Europa, searching for evidence of possible water plumes detected by the Hubble Space Telescope. The plumes, illustrated in the artist’s concept above, were previously seen in images as extensions from the edge of the moon. Using SOFIA, we will search for water and determine if the plumes are eruptions of water from the surface. If the plumes are coming from the surface, they may be erupting through cracks in the ice that covers Europa’s oceans. Members of our SOFIA team recently discussed studying Europa on the NASA in Silicon Valley Podcast.

This is the view of Jupiter and its moons taken with SOFIA’s visible light guide camera that is used to position the telescope.  

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2

“Aerosolized microorganisms may play an important role in climate change, disease transmission, water and soil contaminants, and geographic migration of microbes. While it is known that bioaerosols are generated when bubbles break on the surface of water containing microbes, it is largely unclear how viable soil-based microbes are transferred to the atmosphere. Here we report a previously unknown mechanism by which rain disperses soil bacteria into the air. Bubbles, tens of micrometres in size, formed inside the raindrops disperse micro-droplets containing soil bacteria during raindrop impingement. A single raindrop can transfer 0.01% of bacteria on the soil surface and the bacteria can survive more than one hour after the aerosol generation process. This work further reveals that bacteria transfer by rain is highly dependent on the regional soil profile and climate conditions.” Via.

Solar System: Things to Know This Week

From images to virtual reality and interactive simulations, NASA offers plenty of ways to explore our solar system – and beyond – in 3-D.

1. Step One: Get the Glasses

Many of the images and interactive features require special glasses with red and blue lenses.

2. Breaking News (Virtual Reality Edition)

Big news from 40 light-years away (235 trillion miles). Our Spitzer Space Telescope revealed the first known system of seven Earth-size planets around a single star. Three of these planets are firmly located in the habitable zone, all of them have the potential for water on their surfaces.

No glasses required.

This image was created by combining two images from STEREO B (Feb. 24, 2008) taken about 12 hours apart, during which the sun’s rotation provides sufficient perspective to create a nice 3-D effect.

3. Free-Range 3-D Exploration

Our Eyes on the Solar System app allows free exploration of Earth, our Solar System and thousands of worlds discovered orbiting distant stars. And, you also can explore it all in 3-D!

Under visual controls just check 3-D, pop on your glasses and explore.

4. Your Star in 3-D

The STEREO (Solar TErrestrial RElations Observatory) mission studied the sun in 3-D with twin satellites.

5. National Parks in 3-D

The Earth-orbiting Terra satellite’s Multiangle Imaging SpectroRadiometer (MISR) instrument provides 3-D views while orbiting Earth, including some great shots of our National Parks.

6. Get in the Pilot’s Seat

Take a look inside the cockpit of our high altitude ER-2 aircraft as it descends for landing at Kaneohe Bay, Hawaii. This month, scientists used used the aircraft to collect data on coral reef health and volcanic emissions and eruptions. Flying at 65,000 feet, above 95 percent of Earth’s atmosphere, the ER-2 has a unique ability to replicate the data a future satellite could collect. Data from this mission will help in developing a planned NASA satellite mission to study natural hazards and ecosystems called Hyperspectral Infrared Imager, or HyspIRI.

7. Moon Views

The Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter creates 3-D images from orbit by taking an image of the moon from one angle on one orbit and a different angle on a separate orbit.

This stereo scene looking back at where Curiosity crossed a dune at “Dingo Gap” combines several exposures taken by the Navigation Camera (Navcam) high on the rover’s mast.

8. Martian 3D

Our Mars fleet of rovers and orbiters captures the Red Planet from all angles - often in 3-D.

9. Saturn in 3-D

The Cassini spacecraft’s mission to Saturn is well-known for its stunning images of the planet and its complex system of rings and moons. Now you can see some of them in 3-D.

10. Want More? Do It Yourself!

Put a new dimension to your vacation photos. Our Mars team created this handy how-to guide to making your own eye-popping 3-D images.

BONUS: Printer-Friendly

Why stop with images? The Ames Research Center hosts a vast collection of 3-D printable models ranging from the moon craters to spacecraft.

Discover more lists of 10 things to know about our solar system HERE.

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